Learning to live alongside bears

living with bears in montana, community bear meetings fish wildlife and parks, montana living magazine

Living in Montana means living alongside wildlife.

And that means bears. As Montana continues to populate into bear ecosystems, more encounters with black bears and grizzly bears is occuring.

To help Montana residents learn about bear safety, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is hosting community meetings this April. All events are free and open to the public.

Each event will last approximately two hours. The community meeting schedule is as follows:

  • Joliet: April 16, 6:30 p.m.

    • Joliet Community Center, 209 E. Front Avenue

  • Columbus: April 18, 6 p.m.

    • Stillwater County Civic Center, 16 Sheep Dip Road

  • Harlowton: April 23, 6 p.m.

    • Harlowton Public Library, 13 Central Avenue S.

  • Red Lodge: April 25, 6 p.m.

    • Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company, 1445 N. Broadway Avenue

    • Limited seating available at this event. Arrive early to guarantee a spot.

As the human and bear populations expand and change throughout south-central Montana, it is important for FWP to connect with residents to share bear safety information. These meetings are planned in communities near occupied or likely occupied grizzly bear habitat.

FWP staff will deliver a presentation on bear biology and management, provide tips on living safely and preventing conflicts in bear country, and provide an overview of area bear conflicts at each meeting. There will also be extensive question and answer sessions with FWP wildlife and enforcement staff.

Bears are coming out of hibernation

A grizzly bear was euthanized Monday after a cattle depredation on private land along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks had previously captured and radio collared the young adult male bear weighing 375 pounds near Simms earlier this month, and it was relocated at that time by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Considering this, and in consultation with the USFWS, the bear was euthanized by U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services on March 25.

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Management authority for grizzlies rests with the USFWS, working closely in Montana with FWP, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services and Native American tribes. This collaboration happens through the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

For more information on bear safety and awareness, visit: fwp.mt.gov/conservation/wildlife-management/bear/be-bear-aware.  

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